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Delivering a Milestone STATCOM Project for EWA

Our client, EWA (Electricity and Water Authority Bahrain), has achieved a significant milestone in Bahrain's energy sector with the successful implementation of a STATCOM (Static Synchronous Compensator) unit. The +/- 200MVAr transformer unit was seamlessly integrated into the EWA grid at the Manama 220kV substation, marking a pivotal moment in Bahrain's power infrastructure. This cutting-edge technology promises a multitude of benefits, including improved power quality, increased transmission capacity, and enhanced system stability. 

The journey towards this achievement commenced with the unit's connection to the grid in February. The STATCOM unit, featuring a Voltage Sourced Converter (VSC) architecture comprising air core reactors, filters, and Insulated-Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBTs), underwent energisation and on-load commissioning, marking its transition into operational service. This milestone sets the stage for a new era of energy efficiency and stability in Bahrain's power infrastructure. 

Future Expansion 

This initial success is a precursor to further advancements, as two more identical STATCOM units are scheduled for installation at Riffa and Hidd later in April. These units, procured from Hitachi Technologies along with Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) services, underscore EWA's commitment to innovation and reliability. 

Collaborative Effort 

The success of this project is a testament to the collaborative efforts of various stakeholders. Notably, the extensive scope of work at the Manama site, including a 220kV Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) extension executed by Sumitomo Corporation, exemplifies the importance of strategic partnerships in executing ambitious projects. 

Working with GCCIA, ESB International oversaw design review, factory inspections, and comprehensive site supervision. Additionally, collaboration with Stantec, renowned experts in the High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) field, proved instrumental in overcoming challenges and steering the project towards a successful completion.  

ESB International joined the project in late 2021 and utilised our extensive utility expertise to overcome obstacles and accelerate progress to meet the impending summer peak load expected in May, showcasing the power of collaborative effort and synergy in driving transformative change in the energy sector. 

System Stability 

The significance of STATCOMs transcends infrastructure upgrades, as these units enhance system stability and deliver swift, dynamic responses to unforeseen events. This ensures a reliable power supply for Bahrain's residents and industries, thereby securing the future of Bahrain's energy landscape. 

EWA's successful energisation of its first STATCOM unit stands as a testament to all stakeholders' collective vision, expertise, and perseverance. As Bahrain strides forward into a future powered by innovation and resilience, this achievement serves as a beacon of progress for the entire region. 




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